A Web server is a program that, using the client/server model and the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol ( HTTP ), serves the files that form Web pages to Web users (whose computers contain HTTP clients that forward their requests). Every computer on the Internet that contains a Web site must have a Web server program. Two leading Web servers are Apache , the most widely-installed Web server, and Microsoft's Internet Information Server ( IIS ). Other Web servers include Novell's Web Server for users of its NetWare operating system and IBM's family of Lotus Domino servers, primarily for IBM's OS/390 and AS/400 customers.
Web servers often come as part of a larger package of Internet- and intranet-related programs for serving e-mail, downloading requests for File Transfer Protocol ( FTP ) files, and building and publishing Web pages. Considerations in choosing a Web server include how well it works with the operating system and other servers, its ability to handle server-side programming, security characteristics, and publishing, search engine, and site building tools that may come with it.